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Mixed media paintings

Discover the mixed technique with Carré d'artistes, through a selection of paintings combining all pictorial styles. Our selection will help you appreciate the depth of mixed pictorial art.

What is mixed paint?

Mixed pictorial art is a practice as rich as there are means of transcribing the emotion on the canvas. Contrary to popular belief, it is not an artistic sub-category, insofar as it is not codified. You should know that this technique is as old as the invention of painting, and that it grows when new processes are invented.
A work is qualified as mixed when the artist uses several techniques, materials or supports to achieve his work. As long as a painting combines two media it is part of this category.
These practice was common in Asia, where painters used to add ink to their compositions. William Turner is a Western example of a mixed approach: he blended gouache and watercolours to complete "Scarlet Sunset". The blend allowed him to to shift seamlessly between the transparent softness of light haze – achieved adding watercolours to the background – and more opaque details using gouache.
Georges Braques also used this technique in his still life "Compotier et carte". He began by using oil paint on the background, before enhancing the luminous shine with charcoal and pencil.
More recently, Andy Warhol translated his vision of pop art using a wide variety of techniques. In addition to oil or acrylic paint, he used ink and pencil.

How is the mixed pictorial technique practiced?

The only rule that governs mixed practice is to use several techniques or mediums . The artist facing his blank canvas will thus be able to combine several to take advantage of the properties of each.
He is invited to draw from a rich pictorial pool by mixing fatty, dry and wet mediums. Watercolour painting is good for painting colourful landscapes, while oil lends a satin finish to the painting, if you are not put off by the long drying times. Contemporary painters tend to favour acrylic paint for its very short drying time.
Beyond well-known pictorial techniques, an artist might choose to play with textures and contrasts by emphasizing a brushstroke with a thin line of pastel or pencil.
Contemporary artists do not hesitate to expand the possibilities by incorporating natural compounds, such as sand, earth or even leaves. We invite you to discover Nicoleta Vacaru, who incorporates stretched threads in her works to highlight a three-dimensional effect .
If the mixed technique offers a plethora of effects, making such a work involves expertise and advanced pictorial knowledge. Each medium is characterized by different properties in terms of drying or opacity. Thus, the painter must apply the layers while being aware of these specificities so as not to distort the painting.

Come and discover Carré d'artistes' selection of mixed-media works, unique contemporary art combining all pictorial styles.

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